14 May 2008

The Long Lost Mother Returns

And so I post again.  I have so many wips that I wince every time I look into my office, a.k.a the stash palace.  

Deep in my heart I want to finish the pink Sally Melville sweater, but for some reason I can't bring myself to pick up that sleeve (off the floor), figure out where I am and finish the darn thing.  All I have to do is shape the cap.  Then it's just sew it together and finish the neck opening by picking up stitches and casting them off.  Shouldn't be too hard!

My Tantalizing Socks are nearing toe-dom, ta-dum, ta-dum.  I'm working in the green yarn by alternating rounds.  It's working amazingly well, fading surreptitiously into green without more stripiness than the original yarn, but I only have maybe one more round of the Mountain Colors and then it's all green.  The timing's pretty good, actually, since I need to start decreasing for the toes now, so it might be better to just commit to the green along with the decreases.

My Pomatomus sock is progressing nicely.  I'm always amazed when I can fix mistakes in a stitch with any complication without having to rip it back.  I'm glad I'm not trying to do both at once.  That shifting a stitch at the beginning of a pattern repeat would be h--l.  I impressed a few people at the meeting in L.A.  Did I tell you I put that I was "the one they saw knitting" in my bio for the program?

The Baby Surprise Sweater is on hold.  I haven't been able to face the need to rip out so much, again.  It should be so simple!  Grrr.  I hope I finish it before Baby Clara out grows it!  She was born the 30th of April.

My Best Friend Jacket is in limbo.  It's gotten so big I usually don't want to lug it, or even get it out.  The down side of major knit-all-in-one-piece projects.

My lace silky wool scarf is also languishing.  I only need to do one more repeat, and then maybe put some edging on the ends--it did so much for the Grandma's Double Vine scarf!

And then there's the entrelac shrug.  It's kind of the project of last resort.  Not much progress there.  I need to have a rush of entrelac energy to pick it up, even though entrelac doesn't bug me like it bugs you.  I think I'm not convinced I'd wear an entrelac shrug.  Where?  With what?  (Actually, it'd look pretty spiffy with my rock climber's dress...Don't ask.  I just think of it that way because it's a brand that does mostly that type of clothes, and the dress is kind of a long version of a sports top.)

I've been looking longingly at the green Panda Wool sock yarn I got at Yorkshire on the last trip.  Ron brought me home a yellow skirt with a green and rust (?) print and a green shirt the day before I left for L.A., so of course I need green socks!  And my Addis are all occupied!  And then I've got to start the next pair of Cat Bordhi socks because I'm a pair behind!  Too much yarn and not enough time.  Sigh.  Well, Panda Wool socks should be a good project to take to Europe.

One of these days I shall get ambitious and include some photos, but tonight I'm going to remove the dpns from between my eyelids and go to beddy-bye.

Your mum

12 October 2007

books and afghans

dear mum,
my knitting has been going well. i started knitting my mobius cowl, using elizabeth zimmerman's technique from knitting around. it's progressing quite nicely. i'm contemplating how to make the wool smell less badly; my current favorite is washing it in the henna shampoo i got in vancouver.

i'm also working on some socks, but when am i not? these socks, however, are special. i'm using toes and heels from nancy bush's folk socks and stich patterns from sensational knitted socks, both of which i love so much that i'm going to buy them soon. the other special things is that they're for afghans for afghans.

i'm forcing myself to finish the second pair (the purple and green ones are finished, all they need is the ends woven in) before i start a pair of socks for myself. i found a pattern that i love and am reknitting my orange "cable net" socks into them, since the one i finished turned out horrendously.

other books that i really like that i've gotten from the library:
-knitting vintage socks (also by nancy bush)
-scarf style (i've coveted the turtleneck shrug for years)
-fitted knits
-fishermen's sweaters (alice starmore does cables, need i say more?)

how are your wip's going, i haven't heard about them in a while?

05 October 2007

more books

dear mum,
i now have a huge stack of knitting books on my floor from the library. i've perused several them and here are the best ones of the lot.

knitting around is amazing. it's by elizabeth zimmerman, need i say more? it's also got a significant memoir portion as well, which is really awesome. it's got a pattern for these really interestingly constructed mittens, which i'm thinking of knitting.

domiknitrix makes me super happy. the projects are really cool and the author doesn't approve of crochet or blocking. my type of girl. it's definately on my wish list.

traditional knitted & lace shawls you are probably well aware of my burgoning obsession with lace shawls and if it lasts like i think it will, i definately want to get this book. it's basically a how-to knit and design lace shawls with a ton of lace patterns so that you can do your own designing, my favorite aspect is the "how to wear them" section, with several different ways to wear your lace shawls and stoles, nifty, no?

big girl knits doesn't have patterns that really speak to me, but the sections that talk about how to fit your handknits are invaluable to a curvy girl like me. i'd buy this book for the fitting section and bust dart directions alone but it also has a section about figuring out what styles to wear depending on which body parts you want to flatter or minimize.

mason-dixon knitting. need i say more? it's exactly what i would expect from ann and kay and therefore is going onto my wishlist. the patterns are really great, but the real highlights are the stories and musings.

knitting nature is amazingly nerdy and amazingly beautiful. the introductions to each section speak to my biology nerd side (which, admittedly is pretty big) and the beautiful patterns speak to my compulsive knitter side. not only are the end results beautiful, appealing to the product knitter in me, but the patterns are unique and interesting to knit, which appeals to my dominating process knitter. i want. very much.

knit 2 together i have to agree with everyone who has good things to say about this book (it even has the pattern for the ginormo two-person sweater from the cover!). the patterns are really nice and definately things that i would knit, but, like mason-dixon knitting, the real draw is the writing. it's going on my wishlist.

i didn't really mean for this to seem like a christmas list, but i really only wanted to list the books i actually liked, in intrests of length. but that doesn't mean you can't use this for inspiration!

02 October 2007

lack of inspiration

dear mum,
i'm glad that you like the cat bordhi book. i just wouldn't spend my money on it. anyway, i started knitting myself a mobius out of the yarn you brought me back from france. i'm knitting it ez style, however, because i like the look of garter stich better than the stockinette-oid cat bordhi mobius.

it's my tv watching project, since i'm knitting it straight from the skein (which is working surprisingly well). i don't really have a portable knitting project that's holding my attention. i've got my orange cable socks but they've been languishing. i'm gonna go buy some new yarn for some projects i've got planned, but i have to wait until i get paid in 2 weeks. *sigh*

p.s. a meme is an internet quiz-thing that gets passed around. does that make sense at all?

26 September 2007

Dear Annie--
My first contribution. And i get to admit that i'm not with it enough to understand 'meme'. I hope that my lack of with-itness is due to a shortage of coffee rather than an excess of age. BTW, i tried the Ethiopian coffee from Ten Thousand Villages this morning. It smells like heaven! Tastes pretty good too.

Too bad you're not crazy about the Cat Bordhi book. It finally came in the mail yesterday, along with the Lorna Sass book. (Recipe reviews will have to come separately.) You should take into consideration that if the book teaches you a technique that you like and shows you what one or several people have done with that technique, it is valuable. It doesn't mean that you need to copy what they've done. It just gives you an opportunity if you need practice without coming up with something original. If it weren't for Cat's book about socks on two circulars, i'd still be on four dpns. Instead i zoomed right through two circulars to the magic loop. I'm not sure i've actually knit a pair of her socks, but i do need to frog that boyfriend sweater (and buy the needles i need) and finish the felted boots. And i don't think all the moebius patterns look bad. I'm not sure where i'd where the 'beaded tresses' hat, but there's another one i might consider, and some of the scarves or shawls or whatever look pretty good (and probably aren't as high maintenance to wear as a regular scarf or shawl.

25 September 2007

book reviews part 1

dear mum,
a few days ago a requested a ton (and by ton, i mean about 40) of knitting books from the olympia public library and i went and picked up the first batch, 7 of them, today. so here are my reviews of the ones i have looked at so far.

sensational knitted socks

is amazing. it's got a ton of stich patterns combined with universal directions in way of ann budd, which i think you'd like a lot, considering the trouble you go to with your barbra walker stich dictionary coming up with socks for ron. it also has really good pictures and charts; each section has 2 examples and then a photo of each stich pattern that is really clear (even if the example sock is knit in a yarn that obscures it somewhat) along with written directions and a chart. charts make me soo happy. i think you should get it because it's really awesome and then i can borrow it.

a treasury of magical knitting

is so-so. the mobius technique it teaches is amazing but the patterns are a little insipid and designed for someone with no courage or desire to design. i might just teach myself the cast-on and never require the book again.

knitting with balls

is really good and i'm considering buying it, if not for myself, then for joseph. every technique is explained and illustrated nicely. each project has the stich pattern directions in a little box for easy reference and the cables are charted! the projects are good and vary enough in difficulty that some intrigue me. an aran sweater, for example. it's also well written.


. bleck. insipid patterns in novelty yarn. need i say more?

i hope you find this interesting, if not useful. i was buzzing with excitement over my giant stack of books on my walk from the library, all through dinner, my wait for the bus back to campus and the bus ride home.

20 September 2007


dear mum,
my current sock projects, the pastel opal ones and the orange cable ones, progress. i've been working on them during tutor orientation and while i've been killing time at home. i've finished the first pastel one and it's pretty nice. i've also been reading a bunch of knitblogs and i got this meme from bella knitting. they seem pretty cool. so the meme, titles you've read are bolded and titles you want to read are italicized. nice, eh? i know you read me a bunch of these books when i was little, too.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)

22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) in french as well, but that may be a pipe dream.
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)

55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)

86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

you should do this list as well, but i doubt you know the html for it. hmmm. ah well.
happy knitting!

p.s. a friendly reminder to download those pictures of my knitting that we took.

09 September 2007

wip it. wip it good.

dear mum,
i thought you would like to see how all my wips are going. you've already seen

the dream sweater

in real life, but i'm including a picture anyways because i love it just that much.

my slubby jacket is almost finished. all i have left to do is sew up the under arm sleeves and weave in the ends, but who knows how long it will take me get around to it.

i really like the pockets, even though i made a teensy mistake in one. can you spot it?

my souvenier yarn from vancouver is turning into a really pretty shawl. it's like knitting the forest!

my orange sock continues apace. i made a mistake in the cables though, so i'm gonna have to frog it back some. :(

i hope all your wips are going well on your trip!

04 June 2007

adorable baby jacket!

dear mum,
i bound off and sewed the shoulder seams for the baby surprise jacket i knit for afghans for afghans. i think it's even cuter than the one for les petits lovejoys.


pretty green

dear mum,
i got the yarn for my rogue sweater! it's cascade 220 "the heathers."

sorry about the picture quality, as you know, i've only got the isight on my macbook. it's a nice shade of pale, heathery green. very me. once i get around to starting the slog of winding all 7 skeins with my nostepinne and i find a circular size 8, i'll start swatching. aren't you proud of me? i'm actually going to swatch for once. i'm not just going to jump in feet first and see if it works, with the cables and all.